Tag Archives: Flint

Michigan Church Courageously Combats Flint Water Crisis

Distribution of water at West Court Street Church of God.

By Megan DeBruyn

It has been four years, one month, one week, and one day since Flint, Michigan has had access to clean drinking water.

The crisis began back in 2014, when Genesee County implemented a new pipeline designed to deliver water from Lake Huron to the residents of Flint. Shortly thereafter, the city announced that fecal coliform bacterium had been detected in the water supply and issued a water boiling advisory to neighborhoods on the west side of town. The situation continued to escalate into early 2015, when it was announced that the water could be causing serious health issues and an increased risk of cancer. Continue reading

Detroit-Area Churches Practice Unity, Partner for Community

Detroit-area Church of God leaders gathered together.

By Carl Stagner

Unity, one of the Movement’s foundational doctrines, has, for too long, been preached but not practiced. The move from theory to practice, from conceptual to functional, is desperately needed, and is possible when Jesus is the subject. Church of God congregations in the Michigan cities of Detroit and Flint, for example, understand this. That’s why they’ve come together to worship the Lord and to partner for the betterment of the cities. When the people of God are united, not only is the community better off, but so is the church. In southeastern Michigan, a historic fall gathering demonstrated this blessed reality. Continue reading

Churches Discard Sunday Schedules, Cross Racial Lines to Worship Together

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Photo: Niki Christiansen stands with Demetrius and Latoya Hunter.

By Carl Stagner

We can plan all we want, but sometimes the Holy Spirit just takes over. Sunday, July 10, was scheduled to be the continuation of a sermon series delivered by Niki Christiansen at West Court Street Church of God in Flint, Michigan. But how could the church ignore the tragic events which had since unfolded in Louisiana, Minnesota, and Texas? Niki and her husband Paul serve as co-interim pastors for the church, and they knew something had to be done. After all, the sermon she was scheduled to preach was about unity—a topic we love to talk about, but don’t always put into practice. Since November 2014, a multiethnic church has met for worship in the West Court Street building at the same time, in another room. The stage was set perfectly for what would happen next. Continue reading

Flint Water Crisis: Local Pastors Offer Perspective, Prayers

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By Carl Stagner

Will it ever end? That’s the question lingering in the minds of the people of Flint, Michigan. Home to some 100,000 residents, the city has undergone its fair share of setbacks through the years including, but not limited to, the downsizing of General Motors. Though recently gaining more attention from the media, Flint now seems locked in a drinking water contamination crisis that hasn’t let up since April 2014. Corrosive water has loosened lead in supply lines to homes, businesses, and churches, making tap water unsafe to drink. Muddied by a divisive political environment, little progress seems to have been made to resolve the issue. Local Church of God pastors are now shedding some light on the problem, offering insights underemphasized by the media, prayers we can pray, and things we can do to help. Continue reading

Intersection on the Streets of Flint: Where Church Meets Community

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Photo: Intersection volunteer reads with local children.

By Carl Stagner

Much of society simply writes them off. Politicians may see them as just another statistic. Often the family that should care simply doesn’t. But Gail Bigler cares. West Court Street Church of God in Flint, Michigan, cares. They recognize that, without an intersection between faith and community, the future for many children is bleak. But at Intersection, an after-school ministry of West Court Street Church of God, caring volunteers take a step in the right direction toward addressing a prevalent need. Continue reading